Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bullying Claims Another: Rest in Peace Eden Wormer, Age 14

I was certain that the respite wouldn't last long.  It never does.  It's usually the quiet before the next storm.

Wednesday, March 8, 14-year-old Eden Wormer ended her life in Vancouver, WA.  According to her family, it was a direct result of bullying.  Bullying that had been going on for 2 years.  Says her older sister, Audri, Eden tried everything she could think of to get the girls to stop bullying her.  They wouldn't. 

Vancouver police say they have found no evidence to indicate the bullying rose to the level of a crime.  I read that twice to make sure I read it correctly.  So, to recap, a 14-year-old girl is dead as a direct result of being bullying; yet, the police say they found no evidence to indicate the bullying rose to the level of a crime.  No matter how many times I repeat that, it just sounds like I'm reading it wrong.  I can't imagine those words escaping someone's mouth.  Especially someone in authority.  Especially at a time when the family of the person who didn't have the crime committed against her is grieving her death.

Sorry, I'm a little irritated right now.

Incredibly, the reporting news outlet found out about Eden's suicide while talking to a 13-year-old boy from the same school who had allegedly been bullied.  Because of the bullying he endured, the same day that Eden ended her life, Izaya Hamilton ended up in the emergency room with a black eye, a bump on his head, and bruises on his shoulder.  More incredibly, the school officials "can't talk about specific cases" but did go on record as saying that they "...take bullying seriously."  Well, that's obvious!  Izaya had to go to the emergency room; Eden won't be coming back to school.  Or, going home to her loving family.

I wrote a post yesterday about a news story I'd just heard about the epidemic of teen smoking and how irate that made me become.  And, this is precisely why!  While teens are dying around the world on a daily basis, and at their own hands!, our officials are offering band-aids to a situation that calls for immediate and emergency action!!  Words are meaningless without action.

In my opinion, the first question that these officials, from school teachers and administrators straight through the police departments and on to the politicians!, is "why are you afraid to attack this issue!?"  They do the moonwalk around it seemingly every time.  In La Crescenta, the police reported there that 15-year-old Drew Ferraro "...hadn't been bullied" before he ended his life.  And, there's no doubt I could find more.  Does the uttering of those feeble words absolve them from any responsibilty?  If so, that has to change!

Words are meaningless without action.  It is totally unacceptable that on one day, one student from Cascade Middle School had to go to the emergency room because of injuries sustained from being bullied while another one surrendered her life.  They, as well as every other school administrator from shore-to-shore, from border-to-border, from one end of the globe to another, need to be put on notice:  WE are not going to tolerate this any longer.  And, then, WE need to take action!  WE need to hold their feet to the fire every single time it is revealed that a student is being bullied.  In the movie, Bully, a teacher goes on record saying "I've ridden that bus, and they're as good as gold".  Those words haunt me in my sleep!  Her image burned into my mind as she says it with such faux-conviction.  The boy who'd complained about being bullied on that bus is dead.  Suicide.

This issue...well, it would be redundant to tell you how real or how important it is.  They're concerned about teens smoking cigarettes, as well they should be, and calling it an epidemic.  They're watching teenager die, at their own hands, from being bullied, and reporting that "our investigation has found no evidence of bullying".  I can't be the only one who has a problem with this.

To Izaya Hamilton, give names.  Tell your teacher(s).  If that doesn't work, tell the principal.  No luck there, go over their heads!  Go to the media if you have to.  Most importantly, though, never ever ever give up.

To the family and friends of Eden Wormer, my heart is with you as you struggle through this unimaginable time.